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DIYForFun 04-03-2007 02:01 PM

moving basement window
I have a block foundation. I want to move a window opening over and up. I am looking for suggestions what method to use. On the outside the window is only a few inches above the ground level of a driveway. The height of the window is almost the minimum req'd for building codes. The window needs to move over because it will intersect a new closet wall. I would like more light in the basement also.

I think my options are:
1. remove the cement lintel over the new window and locate it right under the rim joist. Add a wood beam flush with the rim joist and joist hangers to hold up the floor joist above.

2. wide and narrow window with lintel above.

The thing I am wondering about is why was a lintel used on the top course of concrete blocks and not a wood beam in the first place? Is there some benefit to the cement lintel vs a beam? Anyone done this before?

mudmixer 04-03-2007 02:45 PM

A concrete lintel is stronger, permanent and does not rot.

Do you ever plan to use the basement room as a bedroom? If so, consider an egress window while you are at it.

DIYForFun 04-03-2007 10:04 PM

Actually, yes the plan is to make the space in to a room, perhaps a bedroom. The local code here says 38 cm minimum opening dimension and .35 sq m for the open area. The existing window is a double slider about 1.5 times the allowable limit assuming the opening portion can be satisfied by lifting the sliding panes out of the frame. I would rather have a style that opens all the way without removing the glass and a larger size to let more light in. It is tricky to decide. Swinging out on the bottom means the window could get blocked by ice and snow, swing in might allow me to bump my head, maybe if they exist a swing in with the opeing at the top might work. Anyway, that's the idea.

The third option for the lintel is a steel beam cemented in to the top course of block...maybe with a lower height than the existing 8inch high cement lintel to give me a larger opening. The trick is sizing the beam...most tables assume larger spans than 3 feet and longer joists span than I have. The minimum for wood is 3 2x8.

Thanks for your reply.

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